Teen Titans Go! To the Movies - 2018
Director(s): Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail
Writer(s): Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic
Art Direction by: Gerald de Jesus and Rafael Hurtado
Editor(s): Josh Crockett
Cast: Greg Cipes, Scot Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell and Nicolas Cage
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is unapologetically immature, creating a structure that reminds the adults in the audience: this is for your kids, not the other way around. Many of the recent “kids” movies that have come out contain a lot of adult humor thinly veiled as kid friendly, enough to where the kids are entertained and the parents feel they didn’t “waste” their time at the movies. Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail directed a movie that is both faithful to their source material and to the core fans of the TV series.
The story centers around the Teen Titans, a group of heroes whose peers deem them immature and childish. Robin, their leader, yearning for the respect and fame all the big-name superheroes have in the public, decides that the best route towards being in the same breath as a Superman or a Batman is getting his own movie. Once they get inside the Hollywood machine, they notice that things aren’t what they seem and that movies are being used for an ulterior motive. What I love about this movie is how they play with the fact that Hollywood is currently obsessed with taking an IP with any semblance of a fandom and turning it into a movie, and how throwing your creation into the hands of that studio system will ultimately alter it to the point of no recognition. It also has enough toilet humor to take you back to your youth and laugh at a giant balloon monster making fart noises.
Quick note: there is a nice tribute to Back to the Future and I love them for it.
This movie has a lot of creative visuals, something I wasn’t expecting coming in to this movie based off the few trailers I watched. The use of multiple styles of drawings, animation and compositions made for a visually pleasing experience that added a lot to the story telling. The art direction by de Jesus and Hurtado shines through and they are elevated by the rapid cut editing from Crockett. The pace of this movie is breathtaking. Not in the “so impressive, it takes your breath away” kind, in the “everything is moving at 100mph and I’m just hanging on for dear life” kind. They know their target demo has the attention span of a fly, so they are quickly moving on to the next joke before they lose them.
The voice acting is solid all around. They got the cast from the TV series to reprise their roles and you can clearly see how comfortable they are within their characters. The addition of Will Arnett as the villain Slade was perfect. He has a distinct sarcastic tone to his line delivery that goes in line with the tone of the movie. The highlight for me was Nicolas Cage as Superman. It’s an inside joke for all that know of his doomed Superman movie. Seeing him finally be Superman was wonderful.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a kid’s movie in every sense of the word. While it has a few adult gags that slip through, they are unashamed to have written, directed and stared in a movie that is 100% for their target demographic. With bold and creative visuals to boast, this movie is a fun ride that pokes fun at the superhero craze while at the same time giving DC fans enough easter-eggs to whet their appetite. I would fully recommend parents taking their kids to watch this movie on the big screen. Nicolas Cage is why I love movies.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is currently playing in theaters. Go!
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